Washington — The Peace Corps is partnering with the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) to improve local capacity to deliver sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for the reduction of waterborne disease around the world. The Peace Corps will launch the program in West Africa and will adapt it for use worldwide.
WADA — a long-standing public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Company — will work with the Peace Corps’ WASH initiative to raise awareness and build capacity among Peace Corps and community trainers in the areas of sustainable water supply and sanitation services, as well as improved hygiene. The program will focus especially on women, the Peace Corps said.
“Our volunteers’ intimate knowledge of cultural and community practices, plus their commitment to sustainable health projects, make this training-focused partnership a perfect fit for Peace Corps,” said acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “For decades, Peace Corps volunteers have worked to help communities have access to clean water, one of our most precious natural resources. Coca-Cola and USAID are strong partners in this sector, and we are happy to expand our work together around the world. We are excited to work with an established and successful partnership such as the Water and Development Alliance to build our volunteer capacity in this area.”
To start, a Peace Corps WASH technical specialist will provide approximately 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers and their local counterparts with WASH training curriculum and materials, as well as deliver in-country training of trainers on WASH-related topics. All efforts are structured to enable widespread dissemination of information and best practices among involved community members. In addition to this training program, Peace Corps volunteers are involved with WASH projects through construction or repair of community and school latrines and water supply systems, including gravity flow, rainwater catchment and well technologies.
Sustainable water resources and services are essential for ensuring healthy communities, economies and ecosystems. Through WADA, USAID and Coca-Cola are addressing community water needs in developing countries as part of their joint commitment to improving global water security. The partnership with the Peace Corps will expand that impact and enhance the long-term sustainability of WASH investments around the world, the Peace Corps said.
“In Africa, Coca-Cola is focused on sustainable community water projects that help communities uplift themselves,” said William Asiko, president of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. “Effective training of community members will ensure community ownership and management of program infrastructure. We are therefore honored to support the training of more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers and their counterparts from local organizations to increase communities’ capacity for sustainable water management.”
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said: “We are pleased to strengthen our long-standing and important collaboration with the Peace Corps by drawing on their grass-roots presence to help build local capacity in WASH. This new relationship has great potential to extend the strategic reach of our water partnership with Coca-Cola around the world.”
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.
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Africa: Peace Corps Partners to Boost Water Supply, Sanitation
AllAfrica News: Water and Sanitation
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